Are you getting hard of hearing? Well the answer is to turn down the volume, not to turn it up.
In 2010, the World Health Organisation reckoned that there were 360 million people in the world suffering from loss of hearing.
This year, their research shows that the figure has jumped to 466 million people. You can just imagine what their estimate is for 2050. Not good news. Of course there are many reasons for this. However one of the main reasons for younger people to suffer is the widespread use of headphones.
You see them every day and everywhere as folk compute to work, jog in the park and also work away in the office. Very often the volume in the headphones is pushed up to a really loud level and for long periods. You know yourself that to drown out background noise on the metro or in the street, the volume level needs to be high. On most mobile devices there is even a warning level, but most folk ignore that.
Now it seems that the best remedy to listen more naturally. Music and e-books through normal loudspeakers at a pleasant volume at home has a healing effect. This is especially true when the frequencies of the loudspeakers are geared to giving clarity to the sound. (As you can guess, reading this blog on a STEENSSEN website, this is something we are good at.)
Another reason people use headphones a lot in public is to isolate themselves. This is especially true on public transport, where it feels more secure to "hide" within the no-contact zone of headphones. But is "no contact" really a good way for us to live? Just reading might be every bit as good - and less harmful to your ears.